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Working paper

AGE FEATURES OF A HAPPY LIFE IN RUSSIA AND EUROPE: AN ECONOMETRIC ANALYSIS OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC DETERMINANTS

A comparative analysis of the age impact on happiness in Russia and European countries was conducted. The European Social Survey data in 2012 for 29 countries were used. On the basis of an ordered logistic regression, a U-shape relationship between age and happiness was obtained for some of the analysed countries. By using cluster analysis, the countries were divided into 3 groups, in which the age effect varies greatly. In the counties of group 1 (for example, Iceland and Norway) happiness did not change at any age or increase smoothly in old age. Group 2 (Germany and France) had a clear U-shaped age-happiness form. Russia and some counties of former Soviet Union: Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia were analysed in group 3, where the level of happiness decreased significantly in old age (over 60). In some countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, Sweden) all people were happy, regardless of age and the assumption of age-happiness U-shape relation was not found. The socio-economic determinants of happiness were also analysed in different age groups. Income satisfaction and subjective health were the more significant characteristics.